Monday, January 17, 2011

Orissa!! (or Odisha?) - Puri(Day1 & Day2)

The first thing that happens when you reach Puri is you smell fish. Everywhere....
Puri is a strange town, it's more of a hotel town......and frankly none of the hotels are really clean. The one we stayed in, was supposed to be the cleanest, and by that benchmark, I shudder to think what the average clean looked like. The best part of the hotel room was though the brilliant patch of sea view...a little away from the "commercial" part of the beach. We used to wake up to fishermen pulling in neverending lines of fishnets and the continous lulling crash of waves...

The Jagannath temple -
Frankly I would have loved to give it a miss.....the free for all loot fest starts right from getting a "Panda" who takes you to the main temple. He promises that the only money you will have to pay, will be whatever you wish to give the Panda. "Apni khushi se" is the most abused phrase throughout Orissa.

As soon as we entered the old temple, we realised that it is mucky, slippery, and it's almost impossible to stand without getting pushed around, shoved or hit. One of the poojaris actually told me," yahan koi picture nahi chal rahi hai, matha tekna hai to paisa rakhna padega". I started laughing, gave him a mock salute and decided I did not really care if my head touched the idol's feet or not...
We were then herded out by the panda who slyly took us directly to the temple trust, and wheedled and coaxed my dad to part with a grand.
All in all, if you really dont care about temples, give this temple a total miss....

Chilika Lake -
Now this is one of the best things to do when at Puri.....take a 3 hr boat ride to Lake Chilika. The lake is almost 1500 sq km, has a combination of Brackish, Sea and Sweet water and houses a myriad variety of crabs, fish and dolphins!!
It's huge, clean, cold and if you've got a really enthusiastic boat driver like ours, you'll end up seeing a lot of dolphins. It was amazing to see the dolphins rollicking and playing in the water!!! the dolphins have come in from the sea that is at one point connected to the lake, and have stayed on to make it their home.
We also saw a black duck turning clumsy somersaults, pelicans, and cranes swooping in to catch fish.

The only problem here is people trying to sell you fake pearls by cracking open shells and "oh my good!! this shell has a pearl" routine.

Unfortunately, my camera mysteriously refused to work the first two days, so no pictures.... :(


nikhil karira said...

the beach is good!!

Rujuta said...

yeah it is!